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Internet therapy for depression in primary care - a RCT

Conference contribution
Authors Marie Kivi
Maria Christina Eriksson
Dominique Hange
Eva-Lisa Petersson
Kristofer Vernmark
Boo Johansson
Cecilia Björkelund
Published in European Society for Research on Internet Internvention (ESRII) 2013
Volume 2013
Publication year 2013
Published at Institute of Medicine, School of Public Health and Community Medicine
Department of Psychology
Language en
Keywords Internet therapy, ICBT, primary care, effectiveness, depression, RCT
Subject categories Family Medicine, Psychology


This study aims to investigate whether Cognitive Behavior Internet therapy (iCBT) for depression is as effective as usual treatment in primary care (PC) settings. Previous research shows good efficacy for iCBT for depression. It might also be a way to cost-efficiently offer evidence based psychological treatment to more patients, given the substantial shortage of trained CBT-therapists in PC. So far, few studies are conducted with a focus on the effectiveness in PC-settings. We identified patients with mild to moderate depression at 16 participating PC Centers in the Västra Götaland region. Before inclusion a structured interview was performed by a psychologist/¬psychotherapist to ascertain that the patients met the inclusion criteria. A total of 90 patients were included. The patients were then randomly assigned to either Internet therapy (iCBT) or to treatment as usual (TAU). The iCBT encompasses a 12-week access to a Behavioral Activation treatment program on the internet (Depressionshjälpen), a workbook, support by the evaluating psychologist/psychotherapist via 3 telephone calls (week 1, 4-5 and 8-12), and weekly contact via secure e-mail. More intense telephone and e mail contacts are available when needed. The primary outcome measure is BDI-II, secondarily MADRS-S is also used. Our findings at post-treatment is that iCBT is as effective as TAU also in PC-settings. Data from the 3- and 9-month follow-ups will be available in 2014.

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